The Fosters

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Weekend Word with Vonda Armstrong

Written by scoopsnews on December 7, 2019 – 5:41 am -

Christmas is for the hurting.

Happy Saturday Friends!

Yesterday I was in the checkout  line and I overheard a lady  tell the cashier that her little girl cried when she left for work that morning. She added, “ I told her that if we were gonna have Christmas, then I had to go to work.”

I was thinking NO, that’s not true! Although I am guilty of saying the exact same thing to my children when they were younger, it just hit me at that moment how wrong that statement is.

Did you know that Christians celebrate Christmas to remember that Jesus came to save a world in need.  That’s why.

The reason God sent His Son was to heal those who are hurting. In our songs, we sing about the “prince of peace” and the “wonderful counselor .”  These are promises for healing .

So …..Christmas is for those who are hurting.

If we dress  up Christmas as a holiday only for those who can afford it?  Then we will never get the true meaning.

Christmas is not on layaway friends!  The price has been paid In full!

Three passages lay the foundation for God’s plan of healing hurts. 

Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Romans 12:15: “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

Let give some gifts with real meaning this year….

Kindness

Compassion

True Friendships

The gift of Jesus

A meaningful card with a special message

Visit the nursing home

And many more……

Letting others lean on you and offer them Godly Counsel…..

In closing,

Go buy your presents and have a wonderful time at Christmas with your friends and family but remember what Christmas truly is……. it’s not presents, but rather Presence….. “God’s Presence in our lives.”

Love you all!

Until Next week…..

Vonda

Jeff and Sheri Easter (you tube)

 


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Unopened Gifts

Written by Staff on December 24, 2014 – 9:11 am -

presents wrapped editBy Scott Rhoades

 

It was a cold, January night in the valley of coal. A fresh coating of snow covered the hills and glistened brightly in the light of the full moon, as tiny plumes of smoke wafted skyward from the chimneys in the valley below. For a moment, time stood still, as if the entire universe wanted me to know I was a part of something larger. The silence would have been deafening had it not been for the crunching and squeaking coming from beneath my partner’s boots. “Nice night, but it’s cold, and we have work to do,” he said, as he grasped my shoulder. I nodded, turned, and opened the door of the ambulance to retrieve a rescue bag and a bottle of oxygen.

 

Now there were numerous ways one could contribute to the needs of our small community. We had our share of non-profit organizations, religious charities, ethnic and social clubs, and the volunteer fire department or ambulance service. My father was a volunteer firefighter, but since my idea of adventure did not include imitating a roasted hot dog, I opted to invest my efforts as part of the local emergency medical squad.

 

Three o’clock A.M. calls weren’t uncommon, especially during the extremes of weather, and so here we were again. My partner and I made our way up the unshoveled walk and onto the front porch of a tiny home; an old company row house left over from the big mining era that swept through the valley decades earlier. We knocked at the door and let ourselves in, because everyone made themselves at home with Miss Annie Krinksy.

 

Annie Krinsky was an elderly lady, a retired elementary school teacher who never married and she was without a family. Her parents, John and Beulah, had immigrated to the United States in the 1920s and came to our town in search of what everyone else had come for – work! Her father was a coal miner, and her two brothers, John and Jack, soon joined him in the mines after completing the eighth grade. While they labored to survive the Great Depression, they soon succumbed to the dangers of the earth below. Annie quit school and took a job at the local company store in order to keep the house where she and her mother would live out their days. After a long day at work, Annie would visit Sister Maria Theresa Coppelo, a local teacher who would tutor her for the purposes of obtaining a teaching certificate. Annie soon became a teacher.

 

Annie met us at the door and offered us the usual coffee and cookies. She was a frail woman, bent at the shoulders and joints. I looked at her hands in amazement and wondered how she could care for herself. The years of hard labor and coping had left a mark and while 3:00 A.M. calls weren’t uncommon, 3:00 A.M. calls to Annie Krinsky’s house usually meant one thing – she was lonely.

 

snow footprints editedThis wasn’t my first visit to Annie’s house. In fact, everyone on the rescue squad knew her by name and she knew them. Responding to an emergency call at Annie Krinsky’s was like visiting an old friend. She never had a real complaint. We would simply check her vital signs, call the doctor at the emergency room with report to get signed off, and then radio the dispatch of our availability while we stayed a few moments to chat. Her house was amazing considering her condition; it was spotless and smelled of Pine-sol and Lemon Pledge. But there was one thing I will never forget about Annie’s home – someone had given her an artificial Christmas tree, and she never put it away. In fact, she would turn on the lights at any given time (even in July), and you could always see unopened packages underneath the tree.

 

I remember the last call to Annie Krinsky’s house. A neighbor had reported that she would not answer the door and called for help. Albert, the town police chief arrived and led us inside where we found her in her favorite rocking chair facing the Christmas tree. She was covered with a puffy, homemade quilt, but it could not keep her from the chilling arms that enveloped her body. Annie Krinsky had died.

 

tree edit 2014It’s Christmas Eve, and as I look at our tree and the wrapped gifts underneath, I am reminded of Annie and her oddities. I’m not sure what happened to her home, her possessions, or to her tree. I am curious as to what and for whom those unopened packages were intended. I never asked, but I am saddened to think she had gifts to share that will never be known.

 

Perhaps you and I have unopened gifts under our Tree of Life; talents, abilities, and spiritual fruits all waiting to be consumed by a world in need. Perhaps we hold back because of fear, guilt, unforgiveness, or other circumstances that make the joy of giving seem like an impossible feat. During this Christmas, I hope you will resolve to empty your tree of unopened packages as I will. The world is waiting for us!

 

*My life and experiences are real, but I have used artistic license in the telling of this story. Names, persons, and situations have been changed or combined with other personalities or events to offer you some perspectives of my life and community while protecting the identities of those involved.

 

About The Author

               Scott Rhoades is an Inspirational Writer, Speaker & Storyteller. For more information on Scott, please visit www.scottrhoades.net

 


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